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Fisches for to fede 1

Fele * Fisches thai fede,

For all thaire grete fare ,
It was in the waniand ‘
That thai come thare.
Thai sailed furth in the Swin
In a somers tyde,
With trompès and taburnes",
And mikell other pryde".

I have seen one of Merlin's PR ophesies, probably translated from the F rench, which begins thus. -

Listeneth now to Merlin's saw,
And I woll tell to aw",
What he wrat for men to come,
Nother by greffe ne by plume".

The public pageantries of this reign are proofs of the growing familiarity and national diffusion of classical learning. I

* Many. • Feasting. * Q. Waning of the Moon * Tambourins. Tabours or drums. In Chaucer we have TAB ou RE, Fr. to drum. * MSS. ut supr. i All. * I know not when this piece was written. But the word greffe is old French for Graphium, or Stylus. It is generally supposed, and it has been positively asserted by an able French antiquary, that the antient Roman pračtice of writing with a style on waxen tablets, lasted not longer than the fifth century. Hearne also supposes that the pen had succeeded to the style long before the age of Alfred. Lel. It in. Vol. vii. Pref. p. xxi. I will produce an instance of this practice in England so late as the year 1395. In an accompt-roll of Winchester college, of that year, is the following disbursement. “Et “ in i tabula ceranda cum viridi cera pro

Vol. III.

“intitulatione capellanorum et clericorum “Capelle ad missas et alia psallenda, “viijd".” This very curious and remarkable article signifies, that a tablet covered with green wax was kept in the chapel, for noting down with a style, the respective courses of daily or weekly portions of duty, alternately affigned to the officers of the choir. So far, indeed, from having ceased in the fifth century, it appears that this mode of writing continued throughout all the dark ages. Among many express proofs that might be produced of the centuries after that period, Du Cange cites these verses from a French metrical

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will select an instance, among others, from the shews exhibited with great magnificence at the coronation of queen Anne Boleyn, in the year 1533. The procession to Westminster abbey, began from the Tower; and the queen, in passing through Gracechurch street, was entertained with a representation of mount Parnassus. The fountain of Helicon, by a bold fićtion unknown to the bards of antiquity, ran in four streams of Rhenish wine

from a bason of white marble.

On the summit of the moun

tain sate Apollo, and at his feet Calliope. On either fide of the declivity were arranged four of the Muses, playing on their re

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romance, written about the year 1376.
Lat. Gloss. V. GRAPH UM". -

Les uns se prennent a ecrire,
Des greffes - en tables de cire;
Les autres suivent la coustume
De fournir lettres a la plume.

Many ample and authentic records of the
royal houshold of France, of the thirteenth
and fourteenth centuries, written on waxen
tablets, are still preserved. Waxen tablets
were constantly kept in the French reli-
gious houses, for the same purpose as at
Winchester college. Thus in the Ordinary

of the Priour of saint Lo at Rouen, printed. at Rouen, written about the year 1250.

“Qui, ad missam, lectiones aut tractus “dićturi sunt, in tabula cerea primitus re“citentur.” pag. 261. Even to this day, several of the collegiate bodies in France, more especially the chapter of the cathe

dral of Rouen, retain this usage of mark

ing the successive rotation of the ministers of the choir. See the Sieur le Brun's Voyage Liturgique, 1718. p. 275. The same mode of writing was used for registering the capitular ačts of the monas. teries in France. Du Cange, in reciting from an antient manuscript the Signs injoined to the monks of the order of saint Vićtor at Paris, where the rule of silence was rigorously observed, gives us, among others, the tacit signals by which they call. ed for the style and tablet. “Pro Signo

* See ibid. Stylison us. * Styles. Lat. Graptium.

“Graft.—Signo metalli praemisso, extenso “ pollice cum indice simila [simula] scri“bentem. Pro S1 GNo Tabularum.–Manus “ambas complica, et ita disjunge quasi “aperiens Tabulas.” Gloss. ut supr. V. Sign A. tom. iii. p. 866. col. 2. edit. vet. Among the implements of writing allowed to the Carthusians, Tabulae and Graphium are enumerated. Statut. Antiq. Carthusian. 2 part. cap. xvi. $. 8. This, however, at Winchester college, is the only express specification which I have found of the practice, in the religious houses of England". Yet in many of our old collegiate establishments it seems to be pointed out by implication ; and the article here extracted from the roll at Winchester college, explains the manner of keeping the following injunction in the Statutes of saint Elisabeth's college at Winchester, now destroyed, which is a direction of the same kind, and cannot be well understood without supposing a waxen tablet. These statutes were given in 1301. “Habeat ita“que idem praecentor unam Tabulam “semper in capella appensam, in qua “scribat quolibet die sabbati post pran“dium, et ordinet, qualem Missam quis “eorum capellanorum in sequenti septi“mana debeat celebrare; quis qualem lec“tionem in crastino legere debeat; Et fic “ de caeteris divinis officiis in praedićta ca“pella faciendis. Et fic cotidie post pran“dium ordinet idem praecentor de servicio.

* But see Wanley's account of the text of S. Chad Catal. Codd, Anglo-Sax. P. 289, scq, - ** diei

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grams and poefies in golden letters, in which every Muse praised the queen, according to her charaćter and office. At the Conduit in Cornhill appeared the three Graces ; before whom, with no great propriety, was the spring of Grace perpetually running wine. But when a conduit came in the way, a religious allusion was too tempting and obvious to be omitted. Before the spring, however, sate a poet, describing in metre the properties or functions of every Grace: and then each of these four Graces allot

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Hall's Chronicle, fol. ccxii. Among four children. One of the children made

the Orations spoken to the Queen, is one too curious to be omitted. At Leadenhall sate saint Anne with her numerous

progeny, and Mary Cleophas with her

“a goodlie oration to the queene, of the “fruitfulnes of saint Anne, and of her ge“neration; trusting the like fruit should “come of bir.”

It may not be foreign to our purpose, to give the reader some distinét idea of the polite amusements of this reign, among which, the Masque, already mentioned in general terms, seems to have held the first place. It chiefly consisted of music, dancing, gaming, a banquet, and a display of grotesque personages and fantastic dresses. The performers, as I have hinted, were often the king, and the chief of the nobility of both sexes, who under proper disguises executed some preconcerted strategem, which ended in mirth and good humour. With one of these shews, in 1530, the king formed a scheme to surprise cardinal Wolsey, while he was celebrating a splendid banquet at his palace of Whitehall". At night his majesty in a masque, with twelve more masquers all richly but strangely dressed, privately landed from Westminster at Whitehall stairs. At landing, several small pieces of canon were fired, which the king had before ordered to be placed on the shore near the house. The cardinal, who was separately seated at the banquet in the presence-chamber under the cloth of state, a great number of ladies and lords being seated at the side-tables, was alarmed at this sudden and unusual noise : and immediately ordered lord Sandys, the king's chamberlain, who was one of the guests, and in the secret, to enquire the reason. Lord Sandys brought answer, that thirteen foreign noblemen of distinétion were just arrived, and were then waiting in the great hall below ; having been drawn thither by the report of the cardinal's magnificent banquet, and of the beautiful ladies which were present at it. The cardinal ordered them immediately into the banquetting-room, to which they were condućted from the hall with twenty new torches and a concert of drums and fifes. After a proper refreshment, they requested in the French language to dance with the ladies, whom they kissed, and to play with them at mum-chance"; producing at the same time a great golden cup filled with many hundred crowns. Having played for sometime with the ladies, they de

* It then belonged to Wolsey. * A game of hazard with dice. signedly

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